We don’t go to the beach often, but it is so nice having the ocean less than 30 miles away. It is a quick and easy drive, park and walk to the beaches here. In PA I many times felt such a need to be near the ocean, maybe it is because I am a Pisces. The drive was just too far to go on a whim (although Tara and I did make the drive to Point Pleasant a couple of times spur of the moment.) There was city or highway traffic, tolls, and parking once we got there!
Here we head out to the east on a road that quickly turns rural, and little traffic. Once we are closer the traffic increases but we can be parked, in a free lot, with restrooms and free beach access in under and hour.
You can also drive and park on the beaches here. We haven’t experienced that yet, but for $10/day or $20 a season for county residents, it is a great deal if you want your car close by.
Generally we don’t head to the beach for a full day of sun and surf. My favorite times are actually early morning and early evening on the beach. As the days shorten, I might actually make it to the coast for a sunrise!
I don’t swim in the ocean, I generally wade with my pant legs rolled up! I enjoy watching the waves, listening to the surf and breathing in the salt air. I do not like sand, but accept it as part of everything else I love!
We also found a beach that allows dogs, it is at Ponce Inlet. This too is a Volusia County park, but it is a good walk to the beach area. It was very nice, and Sokka seemed to enjoy it. He wasn’t too sure about the water, and of course we can’t let him off leash. We visited later in the evening so we were able to see the sunset over the inlet.